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Internet Interv. 2017 Oct 26;10:54-64. doi: 10.1016/j.invent.2017.10.004. eCollection 2017 Dec.

Internet delivered transdiagnostic treatment with telephone support for pain patients with emotional comorbidity: a replicated single case study.

Author information

1
Center for Health and Medical Psychology (CHAMP), Örebro University, Sweden.
2
Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden.
3
University Health Care Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Sweden.

Abstract

In pain patients, comorbid emotional problems have been linked to negative outcomes, including suboptimal treatment gains. Developing parsimonious and accessible treatment options is therefore important. The overarching aim of this study was to test an internet delivered therapist guided transdiagnostic treatment with telephone support. An adapted version of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatments of Emotional Disorders was used as an intervention for pain patients with residual pain problems and comorbid emotional problems after having received a multimodal pain rehabilitation. The study used a replicated AB single case experimental design (N = 5; 3 females). Outcome measures were depressive and general anxiety symptoms, pain intensity, pain coping problems, and diagnostic status. Feasibility measures (completion and compliance) and patient satisfaction were also assessed. Scores on Nonoverlap of All Pairs (NAP) indicate a decrease of anxiety for three participants and a decrease of depression for four participants. Decreases were small and did not always reach statistical significance. Also, Tau-U scores could only confirm a reliable trend for one participant. Two out of four patients who were diagnosed with psychiatric disorders before treatment did no longer fulfill diagnostic criteria posttreatment. No improvements could be seen on pain problems. The treatment was feasible and patient satisfaction was high. Hence, while an internet delivered transdiagnostic treatment with telephone support may be a feasible and accepted secondary intervention for pain patients with comorbid emotional problems, the effects are unclear. The gap between high patient satisfaction and small changes in symptomatology should be explored further.

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